Wholesale Distribution ERP: Five Essential Applications

wholesale distribution

In a competitive and unpredictable market, wholesale distributors must ensure their ERP systems can handle complex demands. B2B products and services are expected to meet shrinking delivery timeframes thanks to automated supply chains.

It should come as no surprise that changes in distribution and supply chain models are happening industry-wide. Customer expectations are influenced by direct-to- consumer companies like Amazon, putting pressure on wholesalers to ramp up delivery. By disrupting the traditional retail model, Amazon pushed the boundaries between distribution and manufacturing. The once consumer-focused online retailer has disrupted the wholesale industry by becoming the largest distributor of industrial products.

Further, ever-evolving eCommerce innovations continue to shorten the supply chain, allowing wholesalers themselves to sell directly to consumers. Distributors and wholesalers must rethink their go-to-market strategies and transform their business models using modern technology to keep up.

These five business applications can help you harness the velocity of operating a modern wholesale distribution company. 


Five essential ERP functions for wholesale distributors


Technology drives business growth, streamlining operations and mitigating supply chain issues. These applications should be inherent to your ERP, or at least integrated into a robust ERP ecosystem. 


Blanket Purchase Orders (BPO)


A blanket purchase order (also known as a standing purchase order) is a long-term contract between a business and a supplier to supply products or services at a fixed price regularly for a certain amount of time.

Issuing a blanket purchase order with the specifics, such as price and delivery date, can save money, as you are buying in bulk. It’s also an effective way to mitigate processing delays if your company makes multiple payments for the same items or services.


Advanced Warehouse Management Software (WMS)  


Warehouses are at the core of manufacturing and supply chain operations.  A warehouse management system (WMS) consists of software and processes that allow organizations to control and administer warehouse operations from the time goods or materials enter a warehouse until they move out.

The purpose of a WMS is to help ensure that goods and materials move through warehouses in the most efficient and cost-effective way.


B2B and B2C Commerce  


McKinsey illustrates just how much COVID-19 changed the world of B2B and B2C commerce. As the world was forced into remote existence, business was forced to  learn how to adapt without face-to-face or traditional transactions. Businesses now must be able to support digital commerce, no matter the space. Digital sales, previously the arena of B2C, has been embraced by the B2B space.

Reports McKinsey, “The most notable sign that digital sales have come of age is the comfort B2B buyers display in making large new purchases and reorders online. The prevailing wisdom used to be that e-commerce was mainly for smaller-ticket items and fast-moving parts. Not so anymore. Notably, 70 percent of B2B decision makers say they are open to making new, fully self-serve or remote purchases in excess of $50,000, and 27 percent would spend more than $500,000.”


Service Management  


Wholesale distributors are responsible for acquiring goods, storing them, preparing them for sale in smaller quantities to their customers and then delivering them. This means businesses must have an understanding of customers’ current and future needs. Technology has to support planning and sales strategies to improve service. Customer service is the differentiating factor between you and your competitors. 


Warehouse Transfers 


Managing the items in your warehouse encompasses a range of steps. This includes warehouse organization and design, order fulfillment, warehouse monitoring and reporting, task optimization, labor management and resource scheduling. With customer expectations at an all-time high, this means having the ability to move inventory between warehouse locations. Further, cloud-based insight is critical to monitor the transfer of goods to and from various sites.


Selecting the right ERP for whole distribution


There is a range of options when it comes to selecting the right ERP system for wholesale distribution companies. Before adopting a new system, companies must critically evaluate its capabilities in relation to their business goals. Ultimately, the system has to perform to the level of today’s high customer expectations. 


An Acumatica Partner Can Guide You 


Acumatica wholesale distribution ERP software is built for business – especially those in Distribution, eCommerce or retail.

With Acumatica wholesale distribution ERP software, you can manage every part of your distribution business, from accounting to inventory, purchasing to commerce, marketing to sales, and marketing to warehouse operations. 


Why Crestwood?


Crestwood Associates is an award-winning Acumatica and Microsoft certified partner with proven success in 5,000+ ERP implementations.

For more than 24 years, Crestwood has been providing innovative technology solutions to accelerate operational efficiencies for mid-market organizations. Best known for delivering unparalleled value, Crestwood serves clients in a range of industries across the United States.   

  • We have a strong and deep team to support the complexity of an ERP implementation.  
  • We have experts in various avenues who can help solve problems on complex projects. 
  • We do not outsource any aspect of the project, saving time and money.

We advise key stakeholders on which technology solutions will have the greatest impact on your business goals by reviewing your system and processes. We then quantify the goals and map out a plan for action to achieve them. Contact us today for an ERP Discover and Advise Consultation Request.

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